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Matt Jones won the last Australian Open in 2019 Image Credit: AP

The DP World Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia (PGATA) have announced an extension of their Strategic Alliance until 2026 and to announce that the Australian PGA Championship will be returning to Brisbane’s Royal Queensland Golf Club as part of the DP World Tour in late 2022.

The existing strategic partnership, announced in 2017, has provided a range of benefits for PGATA members including important pathways to global golf tours. PGATA members will benefit from this extension through additional opportunities that strengthen current pathways such as two additional tour cards and a range of other additional exemptions on the DP World Tour. This agreement also reaffirms a joint commitment to the continued growth of the PGA Tour of Australasia as will be seen through an increase in prize money for a range of tournaments.

The announcement was made on the eve of this week’s Australian PGA Championship in Brisbane, an event which will also be played later in 2022 when it will be co-sanctioned by the PGATA and the DP World Tour, having last featured on the DP World Tour’s schedule at the start of the 2020 season due to the global pandemic. It will be part of the DP World Tour’s 2023 schedule with an increased prize fund of AU$2million — double what is available at this week’s event — underlining the event’s position as Australasia’s richest golf tournament and providing playing opportunities for both memberships.

This expansion reflects Australasia as a key part of global golf’s ecosystem. As a region that accounts for less than 0.4 per cent of the world’s population, it has produced an amazing array of talented golfers, including 19 men’s Major winners, three world No. 1s and more than 250 wins on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour. Five Australasian players finished 2021 inside the top 50 on the world rankings, with Australians Lucas Herbert and Min Woo Lee winning back-to-back events in July on the European Tour — now named the DP World Tour — the former claiming the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the latter securing his first Rolex Series victory at the Scottish Open.

The DP World Tour has played 42 events in Australasia since its inaugural visit in 1996.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour group, said: “Our Tour has a strong historical association with Australasia, and I’m delighted this extension to our Strategic Alliance with the PGA Tour of Australasia will build upon that heritage. Alongside our partnerships with the PGA Tour and the Sunshine Tour, this new agreement will continue to strengthen the PGA Tour of Australasia and the region’s place in global golf’s ecosystem, providing clearly defined routes for players from Australasia to compete on the biggest stage as well as playing opportunities for DP World Tour members.”

Rodger Davis, Chairman of the PGA of Australia, said: “This partnership is a great acknowledgement of the contribution that our members have made to the overall growth of global golf. We are delighted to continue our association with the DP World Tour and provide greater opportunities for our players. Australasia has produced exceptional golfers over a long-sustained period of time and we are delighted to play our part in continuing this legacy on global tours through the development of players from our region.”